Among the first moves made within the first minute of free agency was the Indianapolis Colts agreeing to terms with defensive end Arthur Jones, coming at the expense of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ division rival, the Baltimore Ravens.
Jones reportedly has come to terms on a five-year contract expected to average about $6 million per season.
The Colts have also agreed to terms with another former AFC North defensive player, inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, early this offseason. He requested his release from the Cleveland Browns, who have since replaced him with Karlos Dansby.
Jones, a former fifth-round pick in 2010 for the Ravens, has developed significantly since being drafted, evidently to the point of financial unfeasibility for the Ravens, who are desperate to retain their own free agents, with their highest priority being their left tackle, Eugene Monroe.
The Ravens are hoping that Monroe doesn’t become just a rental after they traded fourth- and fifth-round draft picks for him during the season last year in order to acquire his services from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was the defensive coordinator of the Ravens in 2011, and their secondary coach in 2010, so Jones is a player with whom Pagano is familiar, and he is not the first former Raven that he has brought with him to the mid-west.
Last season, Jones recorded 53 tackles and four sacks for the Ravens in 14 games, with 13 starts. In 2012, he started only six of the 16 games in which he played, but he registered 47 tackles and 4.5 sacks, in addition to forcing a fumble. The Ravens drafted Brandon Williams in the third round last year and is listed behind Jones on the depth chart.